How to Make Kansai-Style Sakura Mochi At Home-Japanese Taste

How to Make Kansai-Style Sakura Mochi At Home

by Ayako Kidokoro

dessert traditional spring mochi vegetarian vegan

We previously shared the Kanto style of Sakura Mochi with you, but this time we are introducing the Kansai style of Sakura Mochi. Japanese people enjoy eating this sakura mochi while watching the cherry blossoms bloom in spring.

Sakura mochi is a type of Japanese traditional sweet also known as wagashi. It is colored pink, like cherry blossoms, and is filled with red bean paste (anko). This wagashi is so special because it is wrapped in a pickled cherry blossom leaf.

There are two kinds of Sakura mochi in Japan. Both are filled with anko red bean paste and are wrapped inside pickled sakura leaves. However, the texture is quite different.

This Kansai-style Sakura mochi is eaten in the Western region of Japan, such as in Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto. It has a strong chewy mochi texture of sweet rice. On the other hand, Kanto style is eaten in the Eastern region, such as in Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Chiba. It has a crepe-like texture but is slightly mochi-like.

The Kansai sakura mochi style is much chewier than the Kanto style. It is a bit like eating a sweet rice ball filled with red bean paste.

This Sakura mochi is also recognized as “Domyoji mochi” because it is made with Domyoji flour, or glutinous rice flour, which was named after the Domyoji Temple in Osaka.

Traditionally, Domyoji flour is used to make Sakura mochi, but it is quite hard to find even in Japanese supermarkets. For making the Kansai style of sakura mochi at home, we recommend making your own Domyoji flour from sweet glutinous rice.

The traditional way to make Domyoji flour is to soak the sweet glutinous rice overnight, then steam it for 30-40 minutes, dry it for one day, and finally crush it. You might be thinking that this takes too much time, but don’t worry! We’re going to share a special way to make this glutinous rice flour by using the microwave.

Not only does using the microwave save time, but this sakura mochi still comes out tasting great!

Additionally, we recommend using smooth red bean paste, Koshi An, as it matches the texture of rice.

With our sakura mochi recipes, you can now try both styles and compare the two flavors and textures. Let us know in the comments which style you prefer!


Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 40 mins

Total servings: 8

Difficulty: Easy

  • 100g Mochigome Sweet Rice (soak two hours in water, then set aside to drain in a colander)
  • 100g Hot Water
  • 30g Sugar
  • Red Food Coloring
  • 8 Pickled Sakura Leaves (soak for 10-20 minutes in cool water to get rid of excess salt)
  • 160g Red bean paste (Smooth type or Koshian)

Expert's Tip

How to Make Kansai-Style Sakura Mochi At Home

In this recipe, we are using only a small amount of rice, so this rice washing bowl will make navigating this recipe much easier. You won't have to worry about wasting rice while draining water.


1) Gathering the Ingredients

Gather the ingredients together. 

2) Crushing the Sweet Rice

Put the sweet rice in a plastic bag, then crush it with a rolling pin or something similar until the grains become finer. Ideally, the grains should be crushed to about a quarter of their original size.

3) Coloring the Sweet Rice

Add rice, water, and a few drops of red food coloring into a microwave-safe bowl and mix them well together. Be careful not to add too much food coloring as you are looking for the rice mixture to become very lightly pink.

Note: We are using liquid food coloring for our recipe, but gel and powder food coloring are also okay. If using powder, be sure to dissolve it in a bit of water and add it little by little to the rice mixture.

4) Cooking the Rice in the Microwave

Wrap a microwave-safe bowl with plastic wrap.

Microwave the rice for 10 minutes at 500W, then uncover and mix it with a rice scoop, then wrap it again. Microwave the rice again for another 5 minutes at 500W. Once the rice is cooked, leave it to steam for 5 minutes. It may seem that there is too much water in your rice when you remove it from the microwave, but the remaining water will absorb into the rice while it is steaming.

Note: Be sure to check the wattage on your microwave and make sure that it is not set too high.

5) Dividing the Rice into 8 Portions

Mix the sugar into the rice and then split the mixture into 8 equal portions. 

6) Shaping the Sakura Mochi

Wet your hands with water to avoid the rice from sticking. Spread each piece of the rice dough with your palm and place the red bean paste in the middle. Then, shape it into an oval.

7) Wrapping the Sakura Mochi

Wrap a pickled sakura leaf around the mochi. The back of the leaf should be on the outside. 

8) Serving the Sakura Mochi

It is best to consume the sakura mochi immediately because it dries out quickly. The aroma of the sakura leaf may weaken after a while as well. If you plan to eat it within a few days, store it in an airtight container away from sunlight and humidity.

You can also freeze them by wrapping them one by one in plastic wrap and storing them in the freezer for up to 1 month. Before eating the sakura mochi, put it into a fridge for about 2 hours.

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